That time of year is upon us – the sound of fresh snow crunches beneath your boots, holiday music floats in the air, and the early winter chill glows your cheeks. To the female angler, these signs can only mean one thing – ice fishing season has arrived. Innovation in the sport of ice fishing is plentiful and I’ve recently found a few products to be exceptionally superior. If you’re searching for that perfect gift for her this ice season, I’ve compiled my top 5 ice fishing gifts for the female angler.

BAFFIN WOMEN’S WINTER BOOTS

For the female angler, the threat of frigid toes while ice fishing seems ever constant. I’ve owned five (yes FIVE) different brands of women’s winter boots over the last several years, none of which have come close to keeping my feet as warm as my Baffin boots do. That’s why they make the perfect ice fishing gift for the female angler!

The gift of comfort and performance - the perfect ice fishing gift for the female angler in your life!

The gift of comfort and performance – the perfect ice fishing gift for the female angler in your life!

We’ve all dealt with layering socks, uncomfortable toe warmers, etc., none of which I have to use since owning these boots. Featuring double B-Tek insulation, double aluminum insole, waffle-comb foot-bed among a host of other unique features, Baffin boots put the competition to shame. Not to mention a temperature Rating of 100ºC/-148ºF. Baffin offers a wide variety of women’s boot options to choose from. I particularly like the IMPACT and ICEFIELD models for ice fishing as they are the highest temperature rated, waterproof, and durable to withstand the most rugged conditions any female angler can put them through while ice fishing.

WOMEN’S FLOTATION ICE FISHING SUIT

When it comes to ice fishing, safety should always be the first priority. No one ever wants to experience going through the ice, but it can happen to even the most cautious and experienced female anglers. The development and technology behind the flotation suits we’ve seen come out the last several years has saved lives, including my own. The gift of warmth and safety for the female angler who ventures out ice fishing is a great one.

Flotation bibs and jackets - the gift of warmth and safety. A tough combination to beat for the female ice angler!

Flotation bibs and jackets – the gift of warmth and safety. A tough combination to beat for the female ice angler!

The key to a quality flotation suit is the right fit. Women come in all shapes and sizes and in the past, there was not much for variety or versatility in women’s flotation suits. That is, until now. In the last couple of years, many outwear companies have come out with more comfortable, stylish and functionally fitting women’s suits to accommodate all body types. They’ve included gender-minded features like a drop-seat and removable bib tops. Some are increasingly tactical while others are basic and practical to fit any level of female anglers’ needs. Brands to consider are, DSG, Striker Ice, Clam, and Eskimo – just to name a few!

ICE DEFENSE PRO SERIES BY COLD NATION OUTDOORS

This is one of those products that once you’ve experienced it, it has you thinking “why couldn’t I have owned this sooner?!” This little unit puts a complete halt to the issue that anyone who spends time on the ice knows all too well – ice hole and fishing line freeze up. The Ice Defense Pro Series is a small, slender water propulsion wand that hangs into your ice hole by attaching to your transducer cord. It pulls warmer water from below the water surface and circulates it in the hole to keep it from freezing even in -20°F! This genius invention easily mounts to the side of your existing flasher/sonar unit and is easily powered by the unit’s battery with the help of an adapter cord. Simply select what kind of power adapter you need at the time of purchase. The Pro Series is compatible with most any unit, no matter the brand of flasher/sonar unit you use. It uses minimal battery power and is so small that it does not get in the way of you line or a fish in the hole. The unit can also be used in conjunction with a stand-alone battery to keep tip-up, dead stick, and even spear holes wide open and free of ice buildup.

Eliminating hole and line freeze up is a gift any female angler can appreciate!

Eliminating hole and line freeze up is a gift any female angler can appreciate!

On a recent early ice trip to Northern Manitoba with fellow female ice angler Nicole Stone, this unit’s performance completely exceeded our expectations, even in the most brutal conditions. When high, frigid winds would blow snow into our ice holes, the buildup didn’t stand a chance against the Ice Defense system which disintegrated it in minutes. This afforded us less time fooling with ice buildup and more time putting more fish topside.

ICE VULTURE MAGNET TRIGGER SYSTEM BY VULTURE SYSTEM

If you’ve got a lover of tip-up ice fishing in your life, this one is for you. The Ice Vulture Magnet Trigger System has completely changed the game when it comes to alerting you of a tripped flag. No more constant peeking out of a shack window, craning your neck around and squinting to see them, fiddling with tip-up lights, or having to hike out to check them in poor visibility conditions. This system comes with a lighted sensor that simply mounts to the front end of your tip-up and has a small magnet that attaches to the flag with a string. When the flag goes up, the magnet is pulled. The sensor sends a signal to a small handheld device that alerts you which line has been tripped – with the capacity of up to 6 lines per handheld! The sensor is immediately illuminated 360 degrees by extremely bright LED lights. The long-range 2-way communication (up to 1 mile) and incredibly long battery life is what really sets this product apart. It even has a flashlight or “clean-up” mode to where all your sensors can be illuminated at once for when it’s time to gather them up. The list of other configurations and customizable settings will have any female ice angler excited.

The trap is set - the perfect ice fishing gift for the female ice angler who loves tip-up fishing!

The trap is set – the perfect ice fishing gift for the female ice angler who loves tip-up fishing!

The biggest reason I love this product? It’s better for the fish we love chasing so much. There’s no greater disappointment for the passionate female ice angler than putting a trophy size fish topside only to realize it’s swallowed a hook entirely, almost completely cutting the chances if it’s survival once released. The less time a fish spends waiting on the end of a tip up the line, the less time it has to swallow the bait further down its gullet. Being immediately alerted of a strike helps our catch and release efforts immensely. To that concept, I say “Fish ON!” =

THE DANGLER ROD HOLDER

When it comes to having a stationary, non-jigging rod, or “dead-stick” line while ice fishing, the Dangler Rod Holder has no competition. This simple, easy to use rod holder uses 2 components to “dangle” your dead stick rod at a horizontal level so that when a fish strikes the rod tip goes down and you can simply grab the rod and set the hook. The system uses a small Velcro strap that goes around the butt end of your rod with a low profile hook on the top. This hook is placed on the crossbar of the upright dangle bar so your rod is hanging parallel to the ice. When the rod tips down and you pull the rod up to set the hook, there are no complications as dangle bar automatically pops up and out of the way with one swift motion. When you’re ready to pack up, it conveniently folds down into a compact bar that’s easily stowed away in your rod bag. I’ve used the Dangler with the lightest of panfish rods on back country Minnesota lakes all the way up to my heavy trout rods when fishing in Manitoba – it’s adaptable for any species and angler! Best of all, it’s extremely affordable and builds to last. Another perfect ice fishing gift for the female angler!

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